Journal: More Thoughts on Silence

(Monday, March 4, 2019, 12:15 pm)

That book, Silence, that I told you about? It’s so good! She’s really good about citing all of her sources without the cumbersome use of footnotes. I mean, I’m quite comfortable with footnotes, but she just doesn’t seem to need them. She weaves the relevant information right into her writing and it paints this vivid picture of how things were in this silent prison and HOW WE KNOW what it was like. The amount of research she’s done is incredible. And like, I LOVE Howard Zinn and how he uses primary sources written by members of the minority/oppressed groups whose perspective he’s trying to show. But 18th century prisoners were mostly illiterate and we don’t have sources like that for them. But she talks about how the sound carried and where the light fell because she’s visited the actual place herself. And she has records of the schedule that they followed and how the religious services were done, what they ate and what sort of work they had to do. She doesn’t plant thoughts in their heads, which I really appreciate. And she places it all solidly within the cultural context of the time, quoting letters and articles and books that shaped the prison reforms, and describing how society viewed and treated its prisoners. I want to read everything this woman has written so I can learn to write like that!

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